Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Supreme Court refuses to entertain writ challenging permission granted to Sikh community for carrying kirpan in flight

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The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a writ petition challenging the permission granted to members of Sikh community for carrying kirpan in domestic flights.

 The bench however has asked the petitioner to move the jurisdictional High Court.

Hindu Sena has filed a petition which challenged the exemption given by the Bureau of Civil Aviation to the Sikh community for carrying kirpan in the flights calling it discriminatory.

The petitioners were told ” Go to the High Court. Dismissed, with liberty to approach the High Court” by the bench comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice JK Maheshwari.

The order issued by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security on March 4, 2022 which stated that “kirpan”may be carried by a Sikh passenger on his person in domestic flights provided the length of its blade does not exceed 15.24 cms (6 inches) and the total length does not exceed 22.86 cms (9 inches) was challenged by the organisation which has filed the petition.

As per the Bureau of Civil Aviation the Kirpan is allowed while travelling by air on Indian aircraft within India (domestic routes of only domestic flights).
The petitioner argued that this exemption is against the right to equality and was discriminatory.

It was further argued by the petitioner further that the fundamental right to freedom of religion under Article 25 can be limited by the safety concerns of co-passengers in a flight.

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